Mill - Conf Pr - SmFact: Printed conference materials are important to attendees. This includes—and may apply especially to—millennials, young professionals who came of age around the year 2000. Also referred to as Generation Y, 18-33-year-olds, have, as of this year, surpassed members of Generation X in their numbers in the American workforce. More than one in three workers is a millennial. In sheer numbers (working or not), millennials will soon surpass baby boomers!

Clearly, young professionals are important to the future of your association, and their preferences matter. In a survey we conducted last fall, we asked nearly 550 millennials (age 22-33) about their reading and learning preferences. (The respondents are not connected to Omnipress; the survey was administered by a third party.)

Their answers may inform your conference content strategy in 2015 and beyond. Let’s take a closer look:

When I attend a professional conference, I want a printed program book.

  • 53% agree
  • 17% disagree
  • 30% had no opinion

Over half of survey-takers actively want a printed program book. When it’s time to consider how to deliver conference content to attendees, keep this in mind. Young professionals crave print, which provides ample reason for your association to provide it.

When I attend a professional conference, I prefer to look at a website or an app for information.

  • 32% agreed
  • 38% disagreed
  • 30% had no opinion

Compare this result to the previous question. Not even one-third of respondents prefers a website or an app. If both are available, it stands to reason that millennials will use different tools for different purposes. As far as preference goes, however, it’s clear that print wins. Also note that more survey-takers disagreed with this statement, compared to those who agreed, showing an active turn away from technology as the answer for conference content.

I will never stop reading printed educational materials

  • 64% agreed
  • 13% disagreed
  • 23% had no opinion

Nearly 2/3 of respondents agree that printed educational materials will continue to hold a place in their lives in the foreseeable future. Think about your own answers to these questions. Do the responses of millennials surprise you? Do these results give you pause with the assumptions you may have made about young professionals?

Think about this as you plan your 2015 annual meeting, and in 2016, and every year after that. Most of the largest generation—in the workforce and in the country—reads print. They prefer it; they will continue to use it in the future. Technology is not the answer for all young professionals. In fact, most disagree that a website or app is better than a printed program.

These three questions are just a small sample of our full survey results, found in Millennials & Print. Download the white paper to deepen your understanding of the impact print is having on young professionals, who represent the future of your association and the American workforce. Give it a read and let us know what you think.